As engineers, we often pride ourselves on our ability to find creative solutions to complex problems. But when it comes to spare parts, it seems like the industry has fallen victim to a condition known as “Diogenes Syndrome”.
Diogenes Syndrome, named after the ancient Greek philosopher who is said to have lived in a barrel, is a condition characterized by excessive hoarding and a reluctance to throw anything away. And it seems like the maritime industry has caught it bad.
Every of us knows the feeling of walking into a warehouse and being overwhelmed by the sheer number of spare parts, special tools, nuts, washers – you name it, not there for any customer. We’ve probably seen whole rooms full of them. And yet, despite all these spare parts, we still find ourselves rushing to the store at the last minute because we can’t find the one thing we need. In other cases, the purchase department must spend time in long research searching for an obsolete critical component.
So why do we still hoard all these spare parts? Is it just because we’re naturally thrifty and don’t want to throw anything away? Or is there something deeper at play here?
One theory is that we hoard spare parts out of fear. Fear that if we don’t have every single part in stock, we’ll be unable to fix something when it breaks. Fear that if we have to wait for a part to be delivered, we’ll lose valuable time and money.
How many components and parts are kept “just in case” in small and large shipyards, workshops or on-board ships? This is especially pressing when we talk about components of old machines, where the fear of shortages grows exponentially. Most of these objects form an ad-infinitum stock. The cost of this “just in case” inventory is difficult to estimate. On the other hand, we have the components that are ordered in mass since they must be manufactured in a minimum volume to be profitable. In any case, the profitability of originally cheap but indefinitely stored components is highly questionable.
In today’s world of overnight shipping and just-in-time manufacturing, it’s easier than ever to get the parts we need when we need them. And even if a part is on backorder, the cost of a temporary downtime is likely to be less than the cost of maintaining a large inventory of spare parts that we never use.
Our maritime 3D printing and fast manufacturing services are here for that purpose. We can provide you with many types of components. Functional. Just in time. And we can provide your shipyard or factory with extra production capacity readily available on demand.
We also offer you a digital warehouse, with your components ready to be materialized at any time. We can even digitize components for which no digital files exist.
3D printing is clearly not a cheap technology, but it allows you to be flexible, to rationalize resources and, above all, to stop burning money.
I have, for example, some clients who tell me: the component that you offered me for €300, I get it produced in a mold for €100.
Sure! So, what’s the order volume for that price? Where do you plan to put them later? And if one breaks and you don’t have stock, how long does it take you to serve it?
Fortunately, those days are over. Let’s put it this way:
- Want to stop burning your money? Call us.
- Want to stop putting your money on dusty shelves? Call us.
- Want to give a better service to your customers? Call us.
- Need components and don´t find them? Definitely call us.
No matter what the challenges are, we are here to solve them and deliver results. Take action with us.